Skip to main content

Preparing for Surgery

The following information is general pre­ surgery guidelines for patients.  Always follow the advice of your surgical team for your specific situation.

 Expect your recovery to take longer than anticipated.  Recovery times are averaged and you may need more or less time; do not overexert yourself or try to force recovery in a limited time frame.  Your body will take the time it needs to recover.

Cut down on smoking or quit outright one month before surgery.  Anti­smoking products are available without prescription in pharmacies and supermarkets. Before starting any nicotine replacement program talk to your primary care doctor or pharmacist.

You will be given instructions on when to bathe and eat before the surgery.  Follow these instructions.  The hospital may see you before the operation and give you special soap to use on the day of the surgery.

Be honest with your doctor about your lifestyle; do not under­state the amount of alcohol you drink and tell him/her if you have used recreational drugs recently.  The doctor will keep anything you disclose private.

Talk to your doctor about your medications.  Always tell your doctor about any over the counter, alternative remedies and supplements you are taking as there is a risk of serious side effects and post surgical complications.

Organise a support person for drop off and pick up at the hospital. You cannot drive until you have had medical clearance.  You need a reliable adult to assist your return home, depending on the hospital this person may need to present themselves to the discharge staff.

Do not shave the leg/arm before the operation; if you cut yourself or get infected hair follicles your surgery may be cancelled.  The hospital staff will shave your limb.